tv [untitled] August 21, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm PDT
k which says taxicab permits are the property of the people and city of san francisco and shall not be sold,, or transferred. the spirit of the statement was not to make them a revenue source for the city. it was to give them to taxi drivers and have them as a revenue source for taxi drivers. now the mta is competing with cabdriver's for the medallions themselves, who have been waiting all their lives for this promotion, and now the city wants to take that away and use it for their own revenue. the priority seems to be making revenue for the city and not fostering quality cabdrivers and encouraging cabdrivers to stay in the industry. there is not enough time to talk about this.
it is why i think we need a better process than this. this was just sprung on us at the last minute. >> [reading names] director nolan: good afternoon. >> i am a medallion holder. i have been a driver for many years. i do not get it. i do not get it at all. i do not see where the vision is with this. it seems like these are ideas that are just being thrown out there. i see nothing about any of this that has to do with customer service. it is not going to do anything for the customer that will better their service. at a time -- we are at a time where we have real competition. putting a heavier debt and charging more for a medallion just does not make any sense. from a business point of view, none of this makes any sense.
shutting out the drivers that are on the list, cutting them out does not make any good sense at all, either. by adding medallions and bringing in drivers who are inexperienced, it will add to the problem we already have in the industry. an experienced drivers. -- unexperienced drivers and a low level of service. the changing from "shall" to "may" is just an abomination. i do not know how i could look at bill, who i have known for 25 years, and who has changed his entire life to get a medallion, just to have it taken away like that. it is a shame. [applause] >> [reading names] >> good afternoon, commissioners. i always look at this as a
celebration. a lot of people that had medallions that were not able to sell them or get any money for them -- now they are able to. if you take this whole deal about a lot of people who are speaking up here are medallion holders -- when you look at the situation, medallions, when you have them, you just do not get them for free. you pay taxes on them all the time. when you purchase something, you get to have a right off on the interest that to purchase something, so i do not really see the difference in someone that is getting one for free or someone that is going to buy one because they are able to get to have that right off -- write- off. when you buy something, you have an interest write-off for it for an extended period fo time -- of
time. people who have been wondering what they will do with their medallions -- now they have an opportunity to sell them and have something where they had nothing before. i think this is a good thing. i think it needs to be turned up in some ways. raising the price, and lowering the fee could be looked at even more, but it is a movement towards the right way, the right direction. we need cabs on the street. we do not have any soldiers to fight these, and i hope you support these today and we move forward immediately. thank you. director nolan: next speaker. >> emile lawrence, and he is the last person to have turned in a speaker card. sfgtv will turn it on as soon as you start talking. >> callous disregard.
it is notfá just the bus system. it is taxi drivers as a whole. i heard a lot of terms hear about more taxi service, and it is not clear to me exactly what that means. full-service cap companies -- i thought they were all full- service cab companies. there is no definition of exactly what that means. someone earlier spoke about the new york taxi commission, but he left out the commission. we no longer have a taxi commission in san francisco. the assets of new york city are sold out right and trade like stocks. if you forgot, if you go back to 1978, so do the medallions in san francisco. they traded like stocks until they were manipulated into bankruptcy. that is what happened. those are the facts. if you look it over about the medallion program in san francisco, you see 5000ñr people
that drive taxis. up to 3000 on the taxi list. what do you do? you shall or may consider people on the list. i put in 14 years of making very little money only to find out, jt &e%ei the list, you were now going to sell them to the highest bidder, but they do not even have an asset. what they have is a permit, still controlled by the mta. still money going into your checking accounts and not ours. i thank you for your time. l!x>> the last person who has turned in a speaker card. is there anyone else who wishes to speak -- director nolan: ok, ok, ok,
let's go. >> when i first came up to present, i was a little bit flustered. the whole procedure today was not really clear. i was not aware i would be speaking because i did not see it on the agenda. there is a lot i could say and a lot of folks have already said. as an industry member, as a company owner, i want to say at the very least, you should postpone this vote until next meeting. the taxi advisory council has spent countless hours getting recommendations from people who have spent decades in the industry and know what they are talking about when it comes to what the industry needs. the reason i am asking you to postpone your vote is at the very least, this is the first you have received a draft of our proposal and our assessment. at the least, have a chance to read over that period i know that will be distributed to you soon -- at the very least, have
a chance to read over th -- that. i know that will be distributed to you soon. have a chance to read that over when considering all the lives of the people in this industry. as one speaker said, you have people who want to look with you, who want to cooperate with the mta and better in the industry. you have a lot of folks who want to impart knowledge on you who want to help you out so you can make better informed decisions. i think you should take advantage of that. director nolan: ok, the public comment period will be over if there is no one else who wishes to address the board. >> does anyone else wish to speak? director nolan: go ahead. >> today, i drove my full shift, and i had a really great day.
i helped a little old lady in and 'q) calves, helped a blind guy get from point a to point b. fáit is a rewarding job, and i m kind of glad to say that i made the decision that there's really not a future in this business for your average working person. that is what this amounts to. it is a nice job to have if you need to make a little bit of money and work on other things, and ultimately, that is what i have decided to do. in a couple of years that i have been attending town hall meetings and doing whatever i can, i feel that the agency and the industry -- it is an old cliche, but it focuses mainly on the cab companies and what is good for them, what is in the interests of the regulating
agency and what obviously concerns the medallion holders. the majority of the business was made up of thousands of cabdrivers who were not medallion holders. for those people, there really is no future in this business. i have decided that while i still am at an age where i have opportunity to go do something different, that is what i have decided to do. it has been a pleasure to serve you guys and come to these meetings and everything like that, and i hope that as you go forward, you will remember that most of this industry is not being represented here i hope you will consider that as your issue. i hope you will this vote of until the next meeting. >> anyone else care to address the board? >> that is the second time she
has left me off and allowed me to speak. i steady -- studyied and talk about it and if i have not been told greatly by my passengers, thanks for the education, you can call me a liar. this is not the mere factoid. the city of constantinople made it a lot outlying -- outlining the actions of politicians to garner favor with the use of illegitimate cherry drivers -- terry drivers. what you're doing is so profoundly wrong that it is
common sense that you should not be doing what you're trying to do. it should not retire the list. you're trying to retool the san francisco taxi industry after the new york model. those are the politicians that you are enabling. some of you are recognizable as republican in what your doing. you're buying of the people who have been involved. you should not be selling medallions at all. if you miss second we believe you must sell -- mistakenly believe you must sell, the city must be -- must not be collecting money. if you mistakenly believe you should collect more than a nominal fee or putting your agency in the probable legal risk and moral doom.
the problem with your men meant as other people have pointed out is it sounds as though your tweaking matters before rushing them through. please go now against the material on your desk. >> the public hearing is now closed. members of the board, we have two amendments. any comments? will go to the amendments. the first one if you will like -- would like to restate this. >> to amend the provisions related to the transfer or turning in, surrendering of them existing medallions. this would not affect subsequent purchases. the revenue share would be 2
#-- two-thirds of the purchase price. the remainder goingñ the second amendment -- >> lets do the first one. comments are questions? çó>> i will start. as a lot of people have pointed out, it does follow the guidelines we said in a pilot program which did seem to work really well. i think this is a good change to this proposal. i am hap,=p&e%ei >> all those in favor of the amendment? ayes have it. so ordered. >> this is on the eventual sale of the medallion which would happen after this initial transfer after a medallion is
issued for sale when it is resold by the now-purchasing owner. it would change the transfer fee down to 20%. relatively consistent with the pilot program. chairman nolan: the ayes have it. the recommendation as amended. >> i am happy to -- i have a question and comment. >> i will go ahead and start. and want to thank everybody who came here and spoke. is always amazing to me how much we do learn in this. i hear and i appreciate your call for us to delay a vote on this but this has been looked at, this has been under way for a long time. i feel like we do have enough
information. we have looked at this enough so we can make a decision today. a couple things we talked about do stick out to me. the list is such -- is such a huge topic and i appreciate hearing from those of you who showed up today who are on the list. it is helpful to hear that point of view. i like the idea of the>& downpayment assistance from the driver's fund going toward those drivers who are on the list. i understand that we could be changing the way that we're not giving or awarding the medallions to the people on the list with no cost but instead, we're helping people to finance the purchase of those medallions, the transfer of those medallions. it is -- is a big concern ended -- a lot of us have been thinking about that a lot. can i have someone explain to me what happens with the
drivers fund? i understand with the first transfer of thexd medallion what percent goes to the driver's fund. what happens going forward? what is the future of the drivers fund? >> with the three-transfers there is 5% continues to go to the driver's fund in terms of how the fund would be used. that is something that between the mta and industry has not been determined. there was an understanding that through these various processes, people or discussing today that there would be some -- we would arrive at some consensus on how the funds would be used. that has not happened today. the funds are accumulating. >> does the fund continued to accumulate after this first round of medallion transfers? >> every retrainnsfer.
[unintelligible] >> 5% would go into the fund. >> what other -- one other i had questions on. what happens with the folks on the list is somewhat of the elephant in the room. you have talked about addressing this point at a future topic at a future time. i would urge that that time be swift because like our friend in the red sox jersey, he will have to make a decision whether he buys a medallion which he will be eligible to do very quickly if this goes according to plan because we will follow the kehl list -- k list. if he could not wait to buy one, we should craft that quickly. under this plan he will be
presented with the decision to buy rather quickly. depending on what we do with that decision that we just talked about, i, too, would favor looking at the use of the drivers fund for downpayment assistance. i suppose there is a concern that fund could be dwindled for that but it would if there was -- if it dwindled by that, it would serve the people higher on the list by virtue of going down the list for sales. that is something we should look at. that certainly is something that our friends of the credit union or financing said it would appreciate. it should be used only for people who need the downpayment assistance. i would also say that the notions of having some group that runs it, having investment- grade accounts and having input on how the fund would be managed would be wise. turning to the bigger proposal,
i favor it, which i am sure comes as no surprise. transition is difficult and we heard some of the growing pains that come with transition. this is a proposal that will move the industry forward and it is a proposal that addresses many of the concerns we have heard. not perfectly but there can never be perfect dressing of all concerns. for drivers who are on the list , this creates a plan that will expedite the opportunity to purchaseq realize the significant financial benefit of that. i think it will also create a long-term plan for financing these medallions. thanks in large part to the folks at the credit union and the fact we have set a fixed price which in my opinion is lower than what the market price would be. for drivers who are higher on the list which is the most sensitive group i suspect here,
i think i heard the chairman and the director say they will address how this is going to be looked at going forward. there have been some ideas talked about here and even if there are no such ideas, this will expedite the chance for them to get a medallion. drivers who earn the right to buy that way. some proposals had seniority on the list being the determinant and i do not think that was fair. i think folks have ordered their lives and put their names on the list, those of the folks who should get the first opportunity to buy the medallion and that is the way the director has proposed this and i agree. for the bass group that is not here which is the citizens of tho ride cabs and people would drive the streets and people who take transit, this will create a meaningful exit strategy for older and disabled drivers who we have heard for years had no
reason to give up their medallions or work unsafely driving the streets or committing waybill fraud or both. this will create a revenue source for the mta. some people decry that but there are significant financial needs of this agency including tax enforcement and other changes that will allow taxis and other cars to move about the city more freely. to get to the point that one of the speakers made about the limited impact of service, this will allow us to have a stable system in place as we proceed to the extent where believe in the room -- reform package which is how we can assess whether we
have enough taxicabs on the street how to meet the demand and how to meet the dispatch needs. i favor the proposal for all those reasons and would be happy to move at. chairman nolan: as the recession -- a second? discussion? >> i thought a lot about the idea of of postponing this. i am not convince that more time will change a lot of this. the proposal allows for areas i am concerned about. ñiit is an important item. the drivers fund is something we have not paid nearly enough attention to and we should. i am ready to call the vote. all in favor? opposed? the ayes have it. we will come by the next items.
12 and 13. >> do we go to closed session first? >> item 12 makes -- amends sections of the san francisco transportation code and that will not read through everything that it does. item 13 amends the transportation code and establishes fines for new violations of the code regarding motor vehicles for hire. >> are you doing a presentation? >> thank you. this is the same item that was before you in june. we heard a lot of concern from the industry over not having enough time to review and preliminary concerns. at your direction, we continue the item and went out and solicit feedback and our -- we're back with the revised item incorporating as much of that feedback as we thought appropriate. i do want to suggest one change.
from what we propose based on some feedback we got subsequent and this has to do with section 1106. these are notifications we had required in terms of notifying us each month of lawsuits, claims of any kind. it was somewhat broadly written which would create a burden on both the industry and on us. we would like to -- i would like to suggest for your consideration an amendment that would change what we have proposed to the following. this is in section 1106. which would require color schemes -- resulting in property
damage or bodily injury. we have significantly narrowed what we are asking for in terms of reporting each month to those things that we feel like we need to minimally -- need minimally to do our regulatory function free otherwise staff is here to answer specific questions. item 13 is establishing fines to implement based on legislation previously approved by the mta board. staff is here to answer any questions. chairman nolan: let's go to the overall item. an amendment has to be offered by the member of the board. would any member care to offer that amendment? is there second? ok. the discussion -- we need to the public first. we'll open it up to the public.
>> [reading names] >> neither are here. emile lawrence. noit here. charles rathbone, andfá jim gillespie. >> allow me to say thank you to your staff for incorporating in this item many suggestions that we made during the taxi town hall meetings. those hours were long but there were well spent and much appreciated, particularly the chains that director reiskin just made. we have one other concern and that is with the scheduled fiennes.
on the second page to the bottom, the fine is $670 -- $617 to accepting gifts from drivers. we believe this is too broadly worded. it makes a cab company liable for frusen transactions that may occur between individuals that we may not even be aware of and that we're not party to. to illustrate the problem, consider what happened at the luxor cab office. one of our long time drivers brought in a beautiful chocolate cake to celebrate one of our staff members' birthday. there was no solicitation of the cake, there was no quid pro quo and about a dozen people enjoyed pieces of the cake. under this section would be liable for over $600 in fines
for not producing this person pose the greatest gesture. i would ask that that particular section even though we are fully in agreement with the purpose of it which is to prevent abuses of tips and gratuities, we would ask that be held in advance until your department has a chance -- selection 1105 a10. seeking clarity of the language. chairman nolan: next speaker. barry toronto. >> followed by jim gillespie and tarik mahmoud. >> i may have -- maybe los